Sound track for the moment: Let's just kiss and say goodbye.
"I had to meet you here todayyy...there's just so many things to saaaay...Please don't stp me till I'm throuuugh..."
Well this was the song that was playing in my head while IB toyed with my ring finger
I pulled my hand away. Ok. I tried to pull my hand away but he held fast.
"Ok. What did you want to say to me? We've been here for almost an hour and you still haven't told me why you summoned me...what's up babe?"
I couldn't look up at him. Tears had taken permanent residence in my heart all week and now they were opening shop under my eyelids.
What I had to say was...well...I had no idea how I wanted to commence the discussion so I said:
"You know we have to stop seeing each other."
His hands tightened around mine. We'd had this discussion about six times already. All of the time at my place or his and we ended up "back at One" after each "break up talk session"
He sighed wistfully.
I looked up and let the tears fall freely. I was tired. Tired of holding them back. Tired of the way things were. Tired from lack of sleep. Tired from knowing I had to break up with this man with whom I was in love. Tired of not being able to grasp happiness with this man who was already bound to another.
Yeah. IB was married. No I didn't know he was married when I met him. I didn't know until it was apparent to both of us that something had happened and we had to do something about it fast. So he told me.
Wifey was abroad. Half German-half Onitsha chick. He'd met her while in school in the states and she had been so in love with the idea of "going back home" wanted to practice her igbo and what not. Sadly, she couldn't hold on. Said she couldn't stand Nigeria so she moved back to the USA. after what she described as "3 trying months". Said she was never coming back.
Top/Middle/Bottom line: He was married.
Not in the cards.
Lord. Not in the cards. I was supposed to fall in love with a SINGLE man, get married, have children...DEar God...
I rationalised. I fought self. I cried. I asked the Lord whyyyy?? Why did I have to find love with someone who belonged to another?
I said to self: You Won't. You absolutely can't fall for a married man.
I absolutely did. Hook. Line. Sinker. Fisherman.
I wish I could say it was the sex. We never had sex. That was what made it so pure. He would kiss my hands. Palms. Fingers. Forehead.
He'd pick me up from school when I had late lectures. He'd hold my hands when I had bad cramps.
A week before the summons, I had complained of cramps in my ankle. He had, in a moment of madness, kissed my foot after massaging it.
Flustered and very vulnerable, I asked him to leave, for both our sakes. At that point, I knew we had to stop it. Whatever it was.
At this time, I had already applied to stay back in E-town do my internship .
"I'll go to lagos. I'll be out of your hair for six months. I'll understand if you don't call me. I wish things were different, IB. This is reality querido. Your wife exists. We can't pretend she doesn't. Its soo strange...We aren't sleeping with each other but..."
"...we've done much more than that... I know." He interjected drawing circles in my palm "I know...we've bonded in realms beyond sex."
"Exactly que...really should practice not calling you that..." I said as I succeeded in extricating my hands from his.
"Yeah...I knew this day would come. I prayed for a miracle." Wistful sigh. "You don't have to go to Lagos. I'll stay away."
"No. I'll go."
"Can I at least help you pack? Take you to the bus park...please..?" This was classic IB.
Lagos didn't work eventually. I lost two months. I ended up doing just 4 months. In E-town. He was there through it. We stuck to the plan. I buried myself in work. He did same. Stayed away. Bless him.
What we had lasted all of 8 months. My fourth year in Uni. Its been 6 years since the summons. I used to sit and wonder "What if I'd taken what I could at the time?"
In retrospect, I'm glad.
We are great friends. He's moved back to America. He's divorced from Iris. He's met another girl. I hope he finds love. He totally deserves to.
We're content with our phone convos, BBM chats and gtalk chats. We sometimes ruminate on what could have been but I'm glad we have what we have now.
I'm glad I can now tell this story.
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